Fri, 27 May 2022

STOCKHOLM, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Although Sweden is currently experiencing an unprecedented number of new COVID-19 infections, restriction measures could be softened within two weeks, said the country's Public Health Agency, when the Omicron wave is expected to peak.

"The spread of infection has reached levels we have never seen before," the Agency's Director-General Karin Tegmark Wisell said at a press conference on Wednesday. A record number of 270,000 new infections have been confirmed in the last seven days, she added.

However, she explained that when testing hit peak capacity authorities urged citizens to refrain from taking a PCR test unless strictly necessary. Therefore, the confirmed number of cases is only the tip of the iceberg. "The real number is probably around half a million," Tegmark Wisell said.

The soaring number of cases has also been reflected in hospitals around the country.

However, Tegmark Wisell said that most of the restrictions could probably be lifted on Feb. 9.

The Swedish Public Health Agency said on Wednesday that the cumulative number of confirmed infections among a population of 10.4 million people was 1.97 million, while the number of deaths was approaching 15,800.

A total of 83.5 percent of the population aged 12 or over has had two vaccine doses, while 44.3 percent of those aged 18 and older have received a third dose, according to official figures.

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